The ambidextrous spinning of bowling around the world Kamindu Mendis may have the opportunity to showcase his unique skills at the senior international level for the first time, after being elected to the Sri Lanka team for the only T20 against England on Saturday.
Thisara Perera, who led the limited teams of Sri Lanka in the attacks and begins late last year, was named captain, in the continued absence of Angelo Mathews in limited cricket. The captain of tests and ODI, Dinesh Chandimal, also finds a place in the squad of 15 men.
Kamindu, 20, has played only a handful of senior matches so far, but has been more or less accelerated through the system. Although much has been said about his talent with the ball, Kamindu knocks down both the shoots of the right arm and the orthodox of the left arm, it is his hitting that is his main strength. He hit 61 of 72 balls against England in the warm-up match that precedes the ODI series. Kamindu was also captain of the U-19 side of Sri Lanka in January this year.
Meanwhile, Kusal Mendis has been retained despite an ODI form losing streak, while Kusal Perera has been named even though he was not available for the ongoing ODI series with a quadruple strain. As expected, Lasith Malinga returns to the T20 squad after a break of more than a year, and features Dushmantha Chameera, Isuru Udana and Nuwan Pradeep as a company on the fast bowling front.
The spin quota consists only of Akila Dananjaya and the left arm wrist Lakshan Sandakan – Amila Aponso who is on the waiting list.
The T20I is scheduled to be played at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Saturday.
T20I Squadron of Sri Lanka: Thisara Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka, Dasun Shanaka, Damask Shanaka, Kasun Rajitha, Nuwan Pradeep, Lakshan Sandakan
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